Pragmatic Bioethics, 2e

by McGee

ISBN: 9780262324960 | Copyright 2003

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Modern scientific and medical advances bring new complexity and urgency to ethical issues in health care and biomedical research. This book applies the American philosophical theory of pragmatism to such bioethics. Critics of pragmatism argue that it lacks a universal moral foundation. Yet it is this very lack of a metaphysical dividing line between facts and values that makes pragmatism such a rigorous and appropriate method for solving problems in bioethics. For pragmatism, ethics is a way of satisfying the complex demands of multiple individuals and groups in a contingent and changing world. Pragmatism also demands careful attention to the ways in which scientific advances change our values and ethics.The essays in this book present different approaches to pragmatism and different ways of applying pragmatism to scientific and medical matters. They use pragmatism to guide thinking about such timely topics as stem cell research, human cloning, genetic testing, human enhancement, and care for the poor and aging. This new edition contains three new chapters, on difficulties with applying pragmatism to law and bioethics, on helping people to die, and on embryonic stem cell research.
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Contents (pg. v)
Series Foreword (pg. vii)
Acknowledgments (pg. ix)
Introduction to the Second Edition (pg. xi)
I The Pragmatic Method in Bioethics (pg. 1)
1 Bioethics Is a Naturalism (pg. 3)
2 Pragmatic Method and Bioethics (pg. 17)
3 Clinical Pragmatism (pg. 29)
4 Habits of Healing (pg. 45)
5 Freestanding Pragmatism in Law and Bioethics (pg. 61)
II Current Debates and American Philosophers (pg. 77)
6 The Medical Covenant (pg. 79)
7 On “Tame” and “Untamed” Death (pg. 93)
8 On Helping People to Die (pg. 109)
9 Significance at the End of Life (pg. 121)
10 William James, Black Elk, and the Healing Act (pg. 137)
III Pragmatism and Specific Issues in Bioethics (pg. 149)
11 Mental Illness (pg. 151)
12 Genetics and Pragmatism (pg. 163)
13 “Expert Bioethics” as Professional Discourse (pg. 181)
14 Pragmatism and the Determination of Death (pg. 193)
15 Dying Old as a Social Problem (pg. 207)
16 Community, Autonomy, and Managed Care (pg. 219)
Notes (pg. 247)
Selected Bibliography (pg. 279)
Contributors (pg. 285)
Index (pg. 289)
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